The Cambodia National Competitions Committee (CNCC) has finally taken the wraps off details of the impending 2019 Metfone C-League season at a press conference yesterday.
Set to get underway on March 16, all clubs will be expected to host home matches at their own stadiums.
The Football Federation of Cambodia is expected to enforce the requirement it first announced in January 2018, that all clubs participating in the league have access to their own stadium. In past seasons, many of the league’s clubs have shared the National Stadium or the Old Stadium.
The Federation is seeking to modernise the game in Cambodia and bring it up to regional and Asian Football Confederation standards.
Phnom Penh Crown have long played their home ties at the RSN Stadium, while Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng play their home matches at the Svay Rieng Stadium. The Ministry of National Defense are based at the RCAF (Old) Stadium, with Western FC playing at Western Stadium.
Cambodian Tiger play their home matches in Siem Reap. Meanwhile, Asia Europe United will utilize AEU Sport Park while Electricité du Cambodge have the EDC Stadium. Visakha also are set-to take the wraps off their new stadium in coming days.
League champions NagaWorld and Boeung Ket, will consider alternative arrangements until their stadiums are completed. The number of clubs involved in the league is also set to hit 14.
The 2019 season is set for 26 rounds of games equaling a total of 182 games. The final matchday is expected to be October 27. As last season, there will be no playoff to determine the final champions.
It was also reported there are no plans to increase prizemoney of $15,000 for the champions.
The figure pales in comparison to regional neighbours – in Thailand and Vietnam, the winners can expect to fill their coffers with a reported $300,000 to $500,000, although attendances and sponsorship attract much more.
Chhang Piseth, executive secretary at the CNCC, said prize awards for the league or the Hun Sen Cup had not yet been formally decided.
“For the bonus, the Chairman of the Board of Directors will consider internally with executive members, he said. “And we will release [details] in the future.”
NagaWorld claimed last season’s championship bringing to a close almost a decade without the league trophy in Naga hands. Their 18 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses saw them edge out back to back champs Boeung Ket who finished the season in second.
Previously, their last win had come in 2009 then known as NagaCorp. They also triumphed in 2007.